January 11, 2014

How to Keep Your Boomer Power


While the 78 million Baby Boomers in America are living stronger than ever, the natural effects of aging leave many with common conditions that can slow them down.

Here are workout solutions for frequent problems to help you maintain your healthy exercise routine.




Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Typically caused by repetitive motions, such as typing or gardening, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also result from swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis.  Avoid doing push-ups, plank poses, and any other exercise that involves excessive bending of your wrists. Instead, try chest exercises where you can keep wrists straight and protected, using machines or dumbbells.

Back Pain: Often the result of muscular strains, arthritis, and soft-tissue injuries, but sports such as tennis and running can also cause back pain. Steer clear of running, particularly downhill, overhead lifting, and leg press machines. Instead, try walking, stretching, swimming, yoga, and Pilates.

Shoulder Pain: The root of this pain is often impingement which occurs when the space between your rotator cuff muscles and the bone on top of your shoulder narrows, pinching the tendons.  Refrain from repetitive overhead exercises, such as presses or lifts with free weights, as well as exercises that involve repetitive shoulder movements such as tennis, golf, and even gardening.  Try front shoulder raises and cardio like walking or an elliptical machine.

Plantar Fascistic: This is typically caused by tight calf muscles, foot-arch problems, long distance running, and sudden weight gain. Reduce any exercises with repetitive lower extremity impact, such as running. Instead, use the elliptical machine or stationary bike, which are easier on your feet.

Swollen Knee:  Knee pain often stems from parallelogram pain—pain behind the kneecap from common wear and tear. Watch out for any exercise that recreates the pain such as running and stair climbing. Choose swimming, gentle yoga, and daily hip, thigh, and knee strengthening exercises, such as leg raises.

Physical therapists can help prevent and treat these widespread issues (and more) and keep you on track for a lifetime.

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